Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lord, I need some help down here!

So things were settling back down after my surgery. I was healed and feeling good and then I started to feel super tired all the time. I was scared that the problem wasn't fixed and there was something else wrong with me.

Well there was something going on. On November 29th I took a pregnancy test and it was positive! Our baby number 3 will be here in August.

I'm excited, scared, and a little bit overwhelmed. We have a pretty small 2 bedroom house and no way to move right now. That means all three children will be in a small room. I don't know where we are going to put another dresser, more toys and all the other stuff kids have.

I want this baby but I can't imagine a worse time to have one. We haven't even started to touch the bills from my surgery and now we are just going to be piling on more. My husband thinks that we might have to file for bankruptcy. It might be a good idea. We are just drowning.

So as exciting and special it is that I am pregnant, it's overwhelming too. I'm still trying to process everything and I'm trying to hold on to God. I know he won't let us down and will see us through this no matter the outcome.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I love this time of year!


I love the Christmas season. I love the decorating and the baking and the family time together. I love how close I feel to my Savior at this time of year. I have always felt closer to Jesus at Christmas than at Easter. I know that without Easter and the fact that he rose from the grave, Christmas wouldn't be important. I just have always felt that Christmas was a time of new beginnings. I can't hear 'O Holy Night' without my heart swelling and tears coming to my eyes.

I know that a lot of Christians have stopped celebrating Christmas all together because aspect of it have pagan roots. I also know because it doesn't say specifically in the Bible to celebrate anything about Jesus's birth, a lot of people don't celebrate. I don't think I will ever feel that way. Christmas isn't just important to me for the gifts or the cakes and cookies. Christmas is the time of year that Jesus comes alive for me. I look at my own sons and I think of that long ago night when Mary looked on the face of her son. I wonder if she knew at that time how he would be killed to save us all. I think the song "Mary Did You Know" ( can't remember the artist off hand) sums up how I feel.

I also know that Santa is another big issue in both religious and non-religious families. On other websites I've seen battles back and forth. The people that tell their kids about Santa say people who don't are depriving their children of a childhood. The people that don't tell their children about Santa say that people who do are lying to their children.

In my house Santa is a big deal. Jesus is the reason for the season here, but Santa is the one that brings us our gifts if we have been good :). We track Santa on Norad every year, we leave out milk and cookies, but we also talk about how Jesus was born on Christmas and he was a gift to all of us. He gave himself for us and because of that we need to give to other people. We use this season as a great teaching tool. We get a child off the giving tree, we don't pass a Salvation Army bucket without throwing something in, and we talk to our boys about how important it is to give time or money or food to people who don't have these things.

My oldest is only 6 so it hasn't all sunk in yet but every year we talk about how important it is and how Jesus talks in the Bible that we need to take care of the poor. We aren't perfect at this and I'm sure there is more we could be doing, especially at this time of year, but we do our best and we all learn more every year.

I feel like this is a magical time of year. What other time of year do you hear people of other religions (or even no religion) singing about the Christ child? Even if they don't believe and they never believe I still think that there is something magical about that :)

I love that there are different celebrations from other religions at this time of year too! In all of them family is a central focus. In this crazy mixed up world, where families don't have time for each other on a day to day basis, how cool is it that there are celebrations that bring families together? That is so needed and it makes me so joyful to look around and see families being together.

Let me tell you, I'm 32 and I still get a thrill out of tracking Santa on Norad. I still get a thrill seeing people GIVING, and I still get a mighty thrill that makes my throat close a little and my eyes tear up when I think about Christ born in a manger all those years ago.

I hope that every has a wonderful Holiday season and for everyone that celebrates Christmas I hope you have a Merry Christmas! (Or a Holly Jolly one if you so desire :))

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Since life is settling back down...

I think it's time to get back in the swing of things :)

For today's post, I wanted to show what I am thankful for since Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

I am thankful for my silly husband. He makes me laugh, he stands beside me, he encourages me to dream, he puts up and sometimes follows my crazy ideas, he LOVES me, and he loves the Lord

(This picture was taken on Halloween. This is the hat to my youngest sons costume. It kept falling off so he put it on and pretended he was a pirate for the picture lol)


I'm thankful for my sons. They have inspired me, caused me to grow, and made me realize that I don't need 'things' to be happy. I feel like they saved my life. I was going nowhere in life. Bouncing around doing whatever I 'thought' might make me happy. I realized what true happiness was when my oldest was born. My oldest made me a mom and my youngest made me a better mom. I realized that I wanted to do things better for both of my sons when my youngest was born.


I'm thankful for my little house. I've wanted to move, and I've hated how my house looks for a long time now but, I realized my little house is home. I'm thankful that we have a home, I'm thankful for all the wonderful memories we have made here. We became parents in this house. I'm also thankful that my in-laws bought this house for us to rent. We are SO lucky and blessed because of them.
(I don't have a good picture of the outside of my house. So here is the inside looking at part of the living room and dining room from the front door. This was my oldest sons 6th birthday last month.)

I'm thankful for me! I actually like myself a lot more than anytime I can remember previous. I've changed a lot of bad habits and I like to think that overall I have changed for the better. I found my faith and it made me grow. I still have work to do on myself but I can honestly say that not only do I like me, but I'm proud of me :)
(This is the day we got baptized in August)

I'm thankful that the Lord has never given up on me. I'm thankful that my sins are forgiven. I'm thankful that I have found new life in Christ. I don't think I will ever be able to properly state how much my faith means to me. In my darkest moments God was there. I am proud to be a Daughter of the King. He is my redeemer.

My life isn't perfect and it isn't ever going to be. But my life is filled with the Love of Christ, my family, my friends, my dreams and my hopes. I'm blessed beyond measure.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

It is done!

I am home. I got my surgery done yesterday and came home today. I already feel much better than I did yesterday. They were able to do the surgery laproscopically and so I should be most of the way recovered in about a week.

I didn't want to stay in the hospital last night but I'm glad that I did. I was in a lot of pain last night and I was very glad that I had the narcotics in the iv. I wouldn't have gotten such fast pain relief if I had been home.

I was in a lot of pain when i got home but I've taken two naps and now the pain seems a little better.

All of my nursing staff were fantastic. I really lucked out and I will be writing the hospital to say how much I apreciated my nursing staff. I think that's all I can write now. I'm a little muddled still. But I just wanted to stay that God is so good! Everything I prayed about happened. I wanted good caring nurses and I got great ones. I wanted to go home early today and by 11 am I was home. I wanted to recover fast and i already feel better. Thank you Lord for being there with me during my surgery.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Been out of commission lately,

I've been so sick since June and it's really affected everything in my life. But we have a diagnosis and I see the light at the end of this tunnel! My gallbladder is infected. That is what has been causing all my fevers. So I am having it removed next Friday November 4th.

If all goes according to plan I will leave the hospital on Saturday and take about a week to recover. There is a chance that they will not be able to do the surgery laparoscopically and I will have to have the surgery the old fashioned way. Then I will be in the hospital for 3 or 4 days and it will take me 3 to 4 weeks to recover.

It's scary either way because I've never had surgery before but it's almost over! Either way by December I will be healed and will be able to enjoy the Christmas season. We will be able to get back to homeschooling and do more fun things. We will be able to get out of the house and play in the snow and go to the library. I'll be able to keep up with laundry and my house will always be clean again. I will be able to keep up with my crocheting projects and my book reviews. I'll be able to stop feeding my family tv dinners and actually make dinner from scratch!

I'm scared but I'm excited. It's been a long road and we have been so stressed out here. One more big hurdle and we can get back to life again! So I probably won't update my blog again until after I heal but after that I think I will get back to blogging! I have lots to write about :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

As I stared in the mirror this morning...

while I was doing my hair I couldn't help but stare at the cross around my neck. The shirt I am wearing today has a curved neckline that frames my necklace perfectly. As I stared at the cross my anger and confusion that I've had for the last week just dissipated. There is a time for anger and a time for letting the anger go and getting down to business and fixing things. I crossed that threshold this morning.

I can't let the anger consume me. It stops me in my tracks and stunts my growth as a person. I know this all to well. I spent most of my early twenties emotionally stunted by grief and anger. Anger at losing my father, anger that my boyfriend couldn't love me and was emotionally abusive to me. It took me years to realize that my anger was only hurting myself. Being angry at someone never hurts them, it only hurts me.

I realized that since my baptism I've been FARTHER away from God. I don't read my Bible, I don't pray, I don't go to church, and I've slipped back into old habits. Plus I've neglected my blog because it's my journey to being a Godly woman. Why write about it, if I have been sliding the other way?

This has been quite a journey for me so far. I've gone through the crucible time and again and every time I think it's the last. Then I realize that it's not. Sometimes I wonder why God thinks that these painful lessons are the only way to teach me. Some easy, gentle lessons would be nice in between painful ones.

Please excuse my ramblings. This is a confusing time for me and I have no idea what is wrong with me. I feel like I've been holding this all inside for weeks and it's time to exhale and let it all out. This is just my way of sorting through the confusion and hopefully getting to a place of acceptance and understanding of all of this.

Love in Christ,
Jen

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I'm so angry!

I'm so angry at the Lord. Maybe that makes me a bad person or a bad Christian but I'm ANGRY! I've been sitting here for months being sick. The doctors still don't know what is wrong with me and no matter how hard I've prayed, I've heard NOTHING in return. Not even a whisper of encouragement. I don't expect a miracle healing. I don't expect God to carry me constantly. What I do expect is a little peace, a little encouragement. I want to hear God's whisper in my heart again. I don't understand why He has been silent for so long.

I'm angry at my supposed best friend. I feel like she has abandoned me. Our talks are very superficial now or she is talking about how much fun she has had with her other friends. Everytime I bring up my illness the subject gets changed.

I feel like I'm drowning. Everything has suffered in my life because I just don't have the energy to do anything. So a big thank you to my followers for still following my blog even though I haven't written anything :) I go to a different doctor the 20th of this month so hopefully by October I will know something.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Today's the day

That I finally go back to the doctor. I pray that the doctor will figure out what is wrong with me and that I can start treatment. I'm tired of being sick all of the time and I want more energy to play with my kiddos. Hopefully there will be a good update later today :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

My baptism


Yesterday my boys and I were baptised after church. I think that my thoughts on baptism for my boys and me are vastly different. For my boys, I felt like this baptism was their first step on their path towards Christ. It was a public way for my husband and I to declare our intentions to raise our boys in the Lord. I wasn't sure if we should get them baptised or wait until they were older but then I realized that I always felt I was missing something by not being baptised as a child. I didn't want them to feel that and I want them to be able to have a solid biblical foundation and this is one of the blocks of that foundation for me.

Now for me, because I am an adult, I felt like my baptism was literally washing away my old life and making me new in Christ. I feel like I had gone as far in my walk as I could go without this step. Now I feel like the doors have been flung wide open and God is going to move in my life. I feel like now I can be molded into the woman I see inside.

I asked our pastor to include 2 Corinthians 5:17 in my baptism. Everything I felt about it is summed up in that one scripture verse. It's really an exciting feeling to know that you are obedient to God and he will use your obedience for His will. I know that His molding of me will not always be what I want or always be easy but I'm ready! Your will be done in my life Lord!

I wanted to include a few pictures of my boys and I. The first one also has our pastor. Pastor Paige is awesome. She has such a heart for God and she is so enthusiastic! I'm so glad that she was the one to baptize us :)



Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lots of things going on... Trusting in the Lord

So we are not moving. The home inspection didn't go well so we decided to let the house go. I was pretty sad about it but now I'm actually glad that we aren't moving. For one, I get to homeschool my buddy this year. I picked out a curriculum from Timberdoodle and I think it's going to work out really well for us. I'm really excited to start. I'm also getting some good ideas from other blogs I read and today I realized that starting out the school day with calendar time is a really good idea. I found some calendars for really cheap and they are so cute! It's something that my little one can sit and do with us even if he doesn't understand right away.

I'm going to have my little one, Tristan, do 'school' with us too. He's going to get his own crayons and coloring books and he will be able to sit at the table with us too. I think that getting the little one involved will make everything run smoother and will make him feel involved. Plus if he picks up some things along the way it's a bonus!

I'm honestly glad that we aren't moving because I've been sick for awhile now. This has been going on for a month on and off but for the past week now, I've had no break from it. I've been running 100 degree fevers every day, my joints ache so bad, my lymph nodes in my neck and underneath my arms are swollen and painful. Plus I have exhaustion so bad that I can't function most days and I feel like I am really short of breath.

I'm trusting that the Lord knows what he is doing and what is best for me, but that doesn't stop the fear that there is something really wrong with me. This has been going on so long with only small breaks of health in between that I can't even imagine what could be wrong. I am going to the doctor tomorrow so I'm hopeful they find what's wrong and I can be on the path to healing. I've spent some time looking up my symptoms and I have a lot of the symptoms of Lupus. I'm hoping that it's not that or something like that. I don't want to have to battle this for the rest of my life.

I know that I need to trust in the Lord more than I do. But overall I am trusting him. He is the Great Physician and I know that whatever it is He will get me through it. I don't understand why I'm going through this but I do understand that whatever is going on, God will use for His good and I'm more than ok with that. My Lord will not leave me and He will be with me every step on this journey to health.

I hope everyone has a blessed day! :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Taking a break...

So my blog has suffered recently. We are SO busy here. Still waiting to move and we are trying to get the house we live in, in order. We spent the week tearing up dirty carpet in the living room.

So I realized today that I just don't have the time or the energy to keep up the blog right now. I do have LOTS of topics that I want to write about but when I sit down to write them, I just can't. So I'm going to take a break from this blog for awhile and get things settled down here and then when I do have the time I will be back.

It's going to be a crazy ride until the end of the year here. Once we move and my son starts school it will be time for birthdays and then the holidays. I hope to see you all very soon!

Love in Christ,
Jen

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Do I do enough?

Or do I just let my life pass me by? I'm 100% positive that at this point in my life I'm letting it pass me by.

This is something that I've been struggling with lately. I've noticed that since our offer on the house was accepted, I've been in the mind set that things can wait until after we move. I packed up my bibles and devotionals because, 'I'm going to be really busy over the next few months so this might as well get packed away now'. I have two e-books that I really want to dive into but I've just waited because what's the point if we are going to be moving next month.

My family has slid into apathy toward our responsibilities and sometimes to each other. My kids have been watching a lot of TV lately. It's summer time and has been really hot lately and in this situation I usually don't mind a little bit of extra TV watching during the day but it's getting to a state of ridiculousness.

When the kids go to bed my husband and I just collapse in front of two different tvs and spend the rest of the night sucked in to what we are watching. No one is striving for more. No one is spending time with God and my oldest thinks that he rules the roost here.

I think that we are in a crisis state here and I have to find a way to change it. I want to live a bold life for Christ but the life we are living right now isn't being lived for Christ at all.

Proverbs 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

I have become that foolish woman. It need to change today. Oh Lord I cry out to you. Guide my steps, open my eyes, and help me to be the woman my family needs me to be!

Today change has to happen.

(I hope this makes sense. My heart is really burdened and I tried to get my thoughts out in a way that was coherent to someone else reading it!)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mom,

I think that you read my blog and since we aren't talking I thought I would write you here. I won't go into any details since other people can read this but I feel there are some things that I need to say to you.

I'm sad that this situation has torn us apart. We have never really had a relationship and I felt that once I found my faith we had common ground that brought us close for the first time and I'm sad that is no more. Daemon misses you and Mark. He talks about you all the time. I've told him that me and you are fighting and that Papa did some mean things and he wants to call you guys up and, I guess, tell all of us to stop fighting. I think it's sweet.

I miss you. There has been so much that has gone on in the past year that I wish I could talk to my mom about. I guess you know that we are trying to move. Doug and I are going to be homeowners within the year. This is something that I wish I could talk to you about.

I wish that you would get some help for yourself. I think you need it. Not in a bad way but I think you need to know that you don't have to put up with the stuff Mark put you through. I don't think he is a bad guy, I don't hate him, but I do dislike what he has put our family through. In that regard he's just as bad as Kim.

I know that you were there for me when I was going through all of that with Doug and I wish that I could return the favor for you but I can't. Not when you don't want me to. And not when it makes my boys lives turn upside down. They are the most important thing here. Not me, not you, and not Mark. Those little boys deserve better than the drama that surrounds all of us when Mark drinks.

I'm going to be an hour away now. I feel like we won't ever be able to repair anything if we don't do it before I move. But I can't make that first step. I need you to this time.

You have missed so much here. You would adore Tristan. He's walking and talking and mimics words and gestures now. Daemon has such a strong heart for God you would be amazed. That little boy LOVES Jesus.

I wish you would make the choice to be a part of our lives before it's too late and we've moved away. My two little boys already have a grandfather that they will never get to meet because Dad passed away. I would hate for them to also have a grandmother that is still living that they will never know.

But just know that the choice is yours. As hard as it is for me to NOT fix this, I need to have you fix it this time. I need you to make the choice to seek me out and put me first before an addict this time. I cannot allow myself to feel heartbroken and used again. The ball is in your court mom, it's up to you if you want to pick it up.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We got a house!

We put a bid in on Sunday and it was accepted yesterday! So in the next few months we will be moving an hour away from where we are now. It's exciting, scary, overwhelming, and one of the best feelings ever! We are going to have our OWN house. No more renting.

I'm going to miss this house though. I feel like this is place where Doug and I grew up. We became parents here. We've built our family here. We've found God here. It holds a lot of memories for us. It's been HOME for 6 years now. As excited as I am it will be sad to see this place go.

So here's our new house. By the end of the summer, we will live there. Just in time for Daemon to go to school



Saturday, June 11, 2011

Praying for a house...


Still no luck in the house search. We do have 3 we are hopefully seeing tomorrow. Then our realtor sent us 15 more today. I'm hoping that something works out. It's been draining and stressful. That's why I haven't written in days on here. There are so many things to balance in a short time frame.

Sometimes it makes me wonder if we are just supposed to stay here and fix it up and homeschool. I like this house and I'm so grateful that my in-laws bought it so we can rent it. I don't think we would have made it these past years if not for their generosity. But now, we want a home of our own. We want a yard for our kids to run in. Our yard is the size of a postage stamp. It's really tiny and I want something bigger for our boys.

So I'm hoping that tomorrow will be wonderful and in a couple weeks we will know when we close! I just wanted to update because I realized today that it's been more than a week!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lord why did you make me, me?



I've realized over the past few days just how ugly I can be inside. I gossip, I think bad about people, I have a temper that flares up too fast, and I can spend hours on the computer ignoring my family. I realized all this yesterday when we came home from house hunting. I was so frustrated that I took it out on everyone around me.

This is not the person that I want to be. I strive to be like the Proverbs 31 woman. So why am I SO far from being her? I feel like most days that I can't get it together.

Now, this isn't just a pity me post. I'm actually grateful for every new day. Because every new day means a new chance at being the woman that I really want to be. I just sometimes see how much work I still have on me and it gets discouraging. I get tired of baby steps and sometimes just want to run!

I've lived the start of my adult life, just surviving. I've been homeless, broken-hearted, and without hope. I've been slowly learning that I don't have to be the hard person who doesn't trust anyone, anymore. I can dream and dream big. I can show love like the love I get from Jesus. It's just a process.

Sometimes I feel like an onion. The outer layers of me are old and rotten and I have to peel them away one by one to get to the inner part that is still beautiful and healthy. It's a lot of work and I can't peel the layers off all at once other wise I won't know how to keep the inner layers healthy. This has been hard for me because I just want to dive head long into this and rip all the unhealthy habits away. But then I get overwhelmed and have to start over again.

I'm so grateful that God doesn't turn his back on me when I stumble or fail or get angry and pray angry prayers. I'm glad that I can be forgiven because if I couldn't I wouldn't be able to go through this process.

I spent a few years struggling with my faith and I couldn't feel God's hand in my life. I've gotten to the point where I can feel God everyday. It's really an amazing feeling when you feel God has you by the hand and is leading you. It's also amazing to know that when you stumble and fall God is right there to pick you back up.

This post is a little rambling. Sorry lol. I just had a lot of thoughts that I wanted to get out. I hope everyone has a blessed day!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rain rain go away!

DON'T come again another day lol. It's a rainy dreary day here today. We are currently in between storms right now too. We had a doozy of a storm about an hour ago. I'm hoping that the next round of storms won't be to severe but the radar looks nasty :(

Here's the view outside my house right now


This is from my front porch looking sorta back towards my garage.




This is from my front porch looking towards the street. My poor tree is so waterlogged right now lol.


Makes me think of this poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Rainy Day

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the moldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the moldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Simple Saturday...

I've somehow hurt my knee again. It seems to just come out of nowhere and get worse during the day. I might have to go get it looked at soon. Seeing as though I'm in quite a large amount of pain today, I don't have an insightful post planned out. I don't have the patience today lol. So I figured that I would share a video that I love. This version (and many others) have been floating around the web for a long time so you might have seen it. But I know that I always get something out of it every time I watch it.

So I think I did something wrong trying to load the video on here. So I'll just link it and it will take you to Youtube :) The video is here and it's the Lifehouse "Everything" skit.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend :)


Friday, May 27, 2011

Grace, the flipside to my last post...






So now that I've had a night to think about what I wrote yesterday (you can read it here) I realized that there is another side to the anger and frustration, and that is grace.

Dictionary.com has three different definitions for grace but I'm going to talk about the last one which is, 'favor or good will'

As a Christian, I'm given grace by God even when I fail or sin. As a human, I have trouble extending grace to other people, especially when they bad mouth my religion and God. It gets my back up and sometimes I have trouble logically stating an argument.

This is something that I personally need to work on. I'm still hot tempered especially when there is attitude thrown from the other side first. I have trouble stepping back because Jesus is such a huge part of my life that when people talk about my religion in a bad way I feel like they are bad mouthing a family member.

I need to remember though, that Jesus doesn't love me any more than he loves someone who is bad mouthing Christianity or Christians.

It really can sometimes be a fine line between pride in your religion and and being prideful. It's also a fine line between presenting the Gospel in such a way that doesn't alienate people but also doesn't water it down.

I'm trying very hard in my life to actually live the Gospel but online people can't see that so all I have are my words and sometimes it hard to find the right ones.

I learned more last night by thinking and seeing this argument going on and my reactions to it than I have in the past few weeks. Now I have a clearer understanding of grace and mercy.

It's been a really long road for me to get where I am in Christ today. I've stumbled and fallen and turned away from God. I've been lied to by the enemy and told that I will never be the kind of woman that God wants me to be. But this situation and my thoughts about it have shown me that I am more like the woman in Christ that I want to be than I thought.


Romans 6:14
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace.



Thursday, May 26, 2011

I admit it, sometimes I get so angry!

Tolerance is the big buzzword these days. Everyone is supposed to be tolerant of everything. Debauchery? Go for it! Adultery? Sure you deserve to be happy! Abandoning your children for a job? Why not! You deserve to be able to find yourself without being shackled to children who will take all of your time! Abortion? That's a-ok. It's your body your choice. Standing up against sin? Sur.... wait what? Dressing modestly? Hey wait a minute.... Proclaiming God to be true? No no no! We can't have that! Proclaim that you want to be a keeper of the home and take care of your husband and children? Never! You can't to that. You will personally set women back and we've all worked so hard to get here. Strive to be chaste and pure and holy? What a freak!

I saw a double standard like this play out today between pagans and Christians. The pagans were upset because the Christian said something about their religion being against God. So they came and attacked in force and accused the Christian of name calling, and being closed minded. Then the insults came flying. Everything they they were saying that the Christian was doing they were doing themselves. But it was ok because Christians are just closed-minded judgemental fools anyway. They also said that they knew the Bible better than Christians. That may be true in some cases. Heck, that may be true in most cases. But I thought sweeping generalizations were no-no's in the spirit of harmony and tolerance.

I've seen this played out multiple times over the internet. Be tolerant, be open-minded, no sweeping generalizations... except when it comes to Christians. Then we can just call them names, disregard how they feel, and tell them they don't matter.

It's really quite sad. I don't know if it's because some of the truths that are said hit to close to home or if they have had run in's with people who claim to be Christian and are just nasty to the bone and now they tar all Christians with the same brush. I don't know. What I do know is that sometimes I just get so fed up with it all.

I know that I am not persecuted like the Christians in other countries and I'm SO grateful for that. I don't have to hide my faith for fear of being killed. But I do get frustrated that open dialogue seems to shut down when a Christian starts talking. Then it's ok to mock their religion, bash them up one side and down the other, and disregard anything they say. But if they Christian does it back, oh watch out! Then come the statements like, 'I thought God said not to judge', and 'Your god commands you to love not yell like this!'. It can get infuriating!

The first few years of my return to Christian life I tried to live and speak in such a way that no one would ever get offended and everyone would love me. Now, I've realized that I can't live that way. I have to live my life for Christ. He loves people, yes. But he also rebukes people that are living in sin. I will not sit idly by anymore and keep silent. I've realized that by doing so I can hurt people even more. A couple years ago I heard this quote from Penn of Penn and Teller (he's an atheist by the way) and he said that he didn't understand religion but if you believed in Christianity and that people would go to hell if they didn't accept Christ, how much would you have to hate someone to not share Christ with them. That has stuck with me since I heard it. It has a lot of truth to it. If we are talking about eternity here, what's a little frustration or nervousness from sharing Christ with people?

And on that note, have a great night! :)

I want to do something!

I know I have a lot on my plate right now... but like always I want to put more on that plate.

I'm hoping that I can find a way to reach out more with this blog and the other things I do online. I think that I really have a lot to think about over the next few weeks. Once we get an idea of where and when we are going to move I think that I might make a Facebook page for this blog.

I feel like there is more that I am supposed to be doing with this blog and I just have to spend some time praying and thinking about what direction I'm going to go in.

So like always, stay tuned because there might be some big changes coming :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Preschool graduation and a mommy's bittersweet feelings...

Last night my oldest son graduated from preschool. It's been a fantastic program for him with dedicated teachers who actually care. We've been SO blessed to have him there.

Here's the graduate being silly...


But now as we face kindergarten in the fall, I'm quite frankly filled with terror. I want to homeschool our son's but my husband wants to send them to school. So we have been looking at buying a house in a better school district so that way I can at least feel like he his learning what he is supposed to. But that process is not going so well right now.

So my husband said that I can homeschool my Monkey for as long as it takes to get us settled in another town then Monkey can go to school. I feel like this is a great opportunity to show my husband that homeschooling is great. So we will see how this all plays out in the next couple of months.

But either way, my heart hurts. I feel like I blinked and my little preemie baby has turned into this handsome big boy. I want to cry out at time for going so fast. I want to cry out at myself for not savoring every single moment. I get sad because time has marched on and I can't remember what Daemon sounded like when he was 1 or 2. I've tried to document and save everything I can but sometimes time marches on too fast.

I feel like my husband and I missed out on time to teach him about Jesus because we weren't Christians until he was 4.

I want this little boy and his little brother to have a heart so filled with Christ that they never have to doubt and falter like I have done. That is one of the most important aspects of parenting to me.

All I can do is pray everyday that I have done what I am supposed to and savor the time I still have while they are little.

So since I'm feeling nostalgic, here's baby pictures from my boys...

Daemon

and Tristan



This post is linked up at...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Why don't I measure up?



Why can't I be like this serene, pretty, put together woman in this picture? This is something that I seem to ask myself too often for comfort. Why can't I is a question that is all to often on my lips and mind these days.

I read blogs from these amazing women and instead of gleaning the lessons that they have on their blogs I think, why can't I sew like these women. Why can't I can/keep a house/have a bigger family/homeschool like these women? Why can't I stay off the computer more? Why can't I write these amazing blog entries? It's pretty much never ending the things that I feel I can't do.

But if I really stop to think about it, I'm pretty much like a toddler in living my life for Christ. I only realized a year (maybe a year and a half now) ago that I wanted to be a keeper of the home, homeschool, and never wanted to go back to work but have my own shop online where I could sell my goods. It was only in that time that everything changed for me and a different life for myself and my family began. We don't expect toddlers to read War and Peace, clean their rooms perfectly, and be able to write their name all at once. So if I really think about it, how can I know how to do all these things when I'm a homemaker toddler? :)

I have to be able to teach myself all these things and that takes time. For example, over the past year I have taught myself how to crochet 3 different stitches, how to make my own laundry detergent (to save money), and I'm in the process of teaching myself to quilt. I don't know any of this. I wasn't taught the art of homemaking growing up so I've had to slowly piece it together myself.

I also didn't grow up in a Christian house. My parents didn't become Christians until I was a teenager. So I've had to get to know Christ on my own.

That's a lot to learn so far and I think that I'm doing pretty good. I just have to remember that my walk is my own. I will learn everything I need to in my own time. I don't have to know how to sew because Jane Doe can. I don't have to be able to quote long passages of scripture because Jane Smith can. I have to do what I have to do because that's what I can do :)

I got to thinking about this because last night I had my best friend and her family over and me and her were talking about faith and the Bible and she said to me, "Jen, you should become a pastor. You talk about the Bible and faith logically, truthfully, and in a way that people can understand it." That really meant a lot to me. It made me see last night just how far I have come in my own faith.

I just wanted to write this today to not only encourage myself, but maybe encourage other women out there who might feel the same way I do. We can throw away our imaginary yardstick because it's not needed. Christ loves us the way we are right now. He will love us even if we never get around to sewing that skirt. He will love us if we have a messy house. He will love us when we get frustrated and yell. He will just love us.

When we cry because we fail, He's there to hold us. When we rejoice because we have succeeded He's there loving us. He's the best friend a girl could have and I know that I need to remember that more. If we keep our eyes on him and follow the narrow path everything will be right in the end.

I hope that everyone has a blessed day!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Another big change!

I'm just full of them lately huh? :)

I finally took the first step yesterday to setting up my own Etsy shop. I know that most of the work will have to be done after we move (hopefully that will be soon!!) but I want to be able to bring in some extra money to the family to save, or use for bills, whatever.

I have some good ideas on what I want to do and I picked out the name of my store... MonkeyPeanut Designs! Monkey is for my oldest son and Peanut is for my youngest :)

It's really very exciting. I've been putting off even thinking about it because it seemed overwhelming but I've realized the past few weeks that I love to be able to create things. This past year I've made 8 crocheted blankets for birthdays and babies and I loved it. Now that I don't have a deadline to make anything I wander around the house not knowing what to do.

So I realize that this is something that really isn't that hard to set up. Plus my oldest will be in school this fall and once my youngest gets just a little older it will be easy for me to work during the day.

I'm really excited about this new adventure. It's another thing that is going to make me grow as a person, and another thing that will make me closer to being like that Proverbs 31 woman. I long to be like her :)

Proverbs 31: 10-31

0 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate

Thursday, May 12, 2011

News and such

So the bank that owns the house we bid on went with another bidder. Our backup house has a bid on it and we are back at square one. We did find a house that was promising on realtor.com so we are going to look at it as soon as we can. Luckily my husband has vacation next week so we have some time to get stuff done.

It's been a learning process for us so far. Now we know that if we like a house we need to put a bid on it asap and don't wait. We also decided that we aren't going to try for anymore long shots with property. We are only going to go for a house we know we can afford at the asking price. We figured in this economy we could probably get a bigger house for less but we don't want to take chances anymore. Asking price is what we are looking at and if we can't afford a house at that price we aren't going to try. We just wasted two weeks going after a house that we didn't get in the end and that normally wouldn't be a bid deal. We would just move on but time is a premium right now. Daemon starts kindergarten in August and we need to be moved in by then.

I'm hoping that this new house we saw will work out. It's beautiful, older, and cheap. It has such beautiful woodworking throughout the house. Beautiful pocket doors and a stunning staircase. Also the room sizes are very generous. It's pretty much everything we said we wanted. My husband and I just had a conversation about this the other day. We basically want a home that has the character of an old home but the space of the newer homes and this house seems to have all of that. I'm not going to get my hopes up until we see it but I'm going to be cautiously optimistic.

I'm hoping that wherever we end up that we have enough room to put in a garden. I want to try my hand at canning. I see food prices going up and up and I think it would be a good idea to have some stuff stored. I have no idea how to can but I'm sure that I will eventually figure it out. Right? Hopefully lol. I wonder if there are canning classes anywhere around here. Might be something to look into after we move.

I'm still praying that everything will work out. I must admit though that finding out that both the houses we liked slipped out of our reach yesterday really threw me for a loop. This process has been very easy for us and I guess I just expected that it would keep being easy. Maybe this was God's way of shaking me up and not becoming complacent.

It's really been a growing process for me these past few months. I keep getting thrown out of my comfort zone. In the end it's really good. It's made me grow as a person more than I thought I could grow. I know that I still have lots of growing to do to become the woman that I want to be but I'm getting there with God's grace.

Have a blessed day everyone!

Monday, May 9, 2011

It really irks me...

This post has been brewing for quite a few days now and I've stewed and simmered about it but I've put off writing this blog post until I calmed down and was able to write about it calmly and not fly off the handle like I am prone to do (but am trying to change!).

My husband and I went to a major bank to get a mortgage. They ran our credit and said that I could not be on the mortgage. I figured it was because of my credit. Many moons ago when I was young and stupid I got into some financial trouble and really didn't care at the time. It's really bit me in the behind a few times now but I've been working hard to raise my credit score.

But it turns out that is not the case. Because the bank ran our credit, my husband and I both got paperwork that states our credit scores. There isn't that much difference between my husbands score and my own. The only reason I can't be on the loan is because I don't have employment history these past two years because I decided to stay home with my children. I could have a perfect credit score and I still wouldn't be able to get any line of credit.

It's things like this that make it so hard sometimes to live in the world but not be of it like the Lord wants. I felt a calling to come back home and now if something should happen to my husband it's going to be hard for me to get anything for myself. I follow the Lord because I know that He knows better but there are always things like this that get to me.

Then I can hear the enemy whisper, "If something happens to Doug, you are not going to be able to make it" and I know that's a lie but somehow I always let it take root in my heart and then I have to spend time weeding it out.

Hopefully being self employed will take care of all of this but I don't know.

Well that's my rant for the day lol

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Daybook for 5/3/2011


FOR TODAY
Outside my window... it's cloudy .
I am thinking... that I am truly blessed!
I am thankful for... hugs from my boys when I feel down.
I am wearing... Black pants and blue shirt
I am creating... a crocheted blanket for my friend who is due in August.
I am going... crazy! :)
I am reading... A Conversation with God by Alton Gansky
I am hoping... that the underwriting for the mortgage is done today.
I am hearing... music from the computer
Around the house... no one is feeling good today
One of my favorite things... a bubble bath
A few plans for the rest of the week: Packing, looking into a game for the forum I am an admin for, cleaning, laundry, maybe getting outside
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
This could be THE house :)

I think....

that we might have found our house yesterday! Just a quick note today but I have a really good feeling about one house. It's way below our budget, is move in ready, and I can see all of the possibilities with it! Waiting for the underwriting for the mortgage to come back, we are going to see a few more houses too just to make sure but I think that we have our house. It's a three minute drive from my friend that lives in the town and it's attached to the best elementary school in town. I think this is is! More to come when I have more details :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

New things...

Well we are all set to go house hunting on Monday with our realtor. We got our pre-approval letter last week for the mortgage so the only thing we have to do is find the right house (well, and the 8 million other things that go along with that like the inspection and the paperwork lol). But we are on our way to being homeowners.

It's really bittersweet for me. I've lived in my town for most of my life. I know where everything is, all my friends are here, and I know exactly where I need to go when I need medicine at 2 am. Now we are going to be between a half hour to an hour away from here depending on where we go. I won't know where anything is for a little while until I get the 'feel' of the town.

I'm worried about my Uncle Keith. He doesn't have a car and he really only has a few people he can depend on besides me now that him and my mother don't speak anymore. Speaking of my mother, I'm afraid that if we don't reconcile before I move we never will. I just can't have the drama of her life affect my children at all. I don't want to go into details on here, it's just hard to know what to do in a situation like this.

It IS exciting knowing that we are going to be homeowners soon though. We get to walk in that front door and know that it's ours (well and the banks until we pay it off lol). The flowers I plant will be there year after year. I can decorate it any way I want too :)

It's hard to leave the (rented) house we are in now though. I was pregnant with my oldest when we moved in here. Now he will be six this year. That's a lot of memories in this old house.

Sorry if this is all over the place. I have a million thoughts running through my head lately and it's making me kind of scatterbrained :)

Until next time,
Jen

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Daybook for 4/28/2011


FOR TODAY
Outside my window... it's cloudy and rainy and chilly.
I am thinking... about how much I have to do when we find a house to buy.
I am thankful for... quiet time to myself.
I am wearing... Blue comfy pants, and a pink sweatshirt. I'm not going anywhere today :)
I am creating... a crocheted blanket for my friend who is due in August.
I am going... nowhere
I am reading... A Conversation with God by Alton Gansky
I am hoping... to find our house when we go out with the realtor Monday
I am hearing... sounds of drilling from the basement. My husband an
d oldest son have some sort of project going on downstairs :)
Around the house... It's almost clean and quiet right now. My youngest is down for a nap.
One of my favorite things... Time to sit with a cup of tea and a good book
A few plans for the rest of the week: Hopefully getting outside to work on the flower beds. They are in bad shape and it won't stop raining. Maybe a little more packing and going through stuff.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
I'm so lucky to have both my boys with their silly, funny, loud, loving, frustrating antics.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lord have mercy on me!

Luke 18: 10-13

10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' 13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

What a powerful story this is. We all want to be like the second man, we all think we are like the second man, but sometimes we all act like the first man.

I was actually convicted of this last night when I was talking to my husband. I went on and on about how no one takes a stand anymore and about how we all need to use the gifts we get from the spirit. Then I realized just how few the times are that I actually stand up. That lead me to really think about the things I do, and I realized I'm more like the first man than I care to admit.

My prayers of thanksgiving have a faint tone of 'ha ha ha, I'm so much better' to them. I give thanks that I'm a keeper of the home but it doesn't stop there and I say how horrible it is that more women dont' think like me.

I give thanks for my healthy family and then pray for the children I know who's family dynamic is different than mine. Not abusive, neglectful, or dysfunctional, just DIFFERENT.

I somehow think I have all the answers because I have the gift of discernment. It's such a double edged sword. Discernment can be helpful to a church and to individual people but it can also make you prideful and think you know all the answers.

None of us are worthy or righteous except through Christ and our human nature can sometimes make us think that we have all the answers when we don't. Prayers of thanks are a wonderful thing but I think that we need to be mindful of the fact that a prayer of thanks is one thing but a prayer of thanks that you are better than someone else is another. God knows all the answers, not us, and definatly not ME!

God, have mercy on me, a sinner!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday musings...

So this year is really the first year that I have really FELT the meaning behind Good Friday. My Christian walk has been spotty and halting and I've never really gotten into the celebrations. This year is different though. The cross is heavy on my mind today.

In my online travels I've only come across a few postings about Good Friday. I expect it on more secular websites etc, but when a Christian based website or forum isn't talking about Good Friday I feel like there is something wrong. Have we all forgotten what this day means to us, and to the world? Has the suffering that Jesus went through been reduced to a small footnote in history?

We cannot joyfully proclaim, "He is Risen!" if we don't remember the fact that Jesus first had to die. He went willingly to that cross for every single one of us! He died a horrible, painful death FOR US! The pastor at my church talked about this last week on Palm Sunday. She talked about how we go from one celebration (the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem) to another (Jesus rising from the grave) but we cannot forget the grief in the middle (the Crucifixion). It's the meat in the middle that gives both celebrations their extraordinary meaning.

I've stayed away from my blog because I have been leery to write things like this. It's been brewing for a little while but I don't write because I don't ever want to cause waves or ripples but I've realized something today. Not taking a stand on things, worrying about what other people think about me, it takes away from the glory of God. I've spent the last few years trying to serve two masters (the world and God) equally and it just can't be done. God deserves the glory, not man.

Remember this day that the shadow of the cross is on all of us and two thousand years ago a man walked willing to die on that cross for you.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish , but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Blessing of Adversity by Barry C. Black

I was lucky enough to get this book for review. This is really an amazing book for something that should be so second nature to us Christians. Seeing how God can use our adversities for good.

Mr. Black does a very good job in coming at the subject from a scriptural perspective. Every statement he makes seems to be backed up by God's word.

The book is separated into three different sections. Mastering the basics, avoiding sources of trouble, and turning your adversity into advantage. This takes us through the whole process of looking at our adverities in a different light.

This book is not a sermon, but rather a guidebook from somone who has also faced adverity in their life.

I highly recommend this book. I think that every Chirstian should read it.

I recieved this book from Tyndale Publishers for free in exchange for a review. I was not required to give a postive review and all thoughts are my own.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"If God, Why Evil?" By Norman L. Geisler

I was so excited to recieve this book to review. After reading it I've found that the book had good points and bad points for me.

This book is concise and to the point with the topics covered. All the questions that are brought up are laid out logically and the author comes to a conclusion based on those points. I thought that was very helpful. There's no emotion to cloud the logic.

However, this book was a little to 'meaty' for me. I had trouble wrapping my head around some of the concepts and even though it states in the beginning of the book that this is laid out in plain language I had trouble with it.

I think that this is a book that I'm going to have to read multiple times in order to understand all the concepts that the author was trying to get across.

I must stop here for a second and just commend the author for taking on this hard subject. Not only taking it on but trying to bring it across in a way that makes sense to the average person not just seminary students.

Overall, I think this is a good book on a subject that many Christians struggle with. But, for me, I'm going to have to read it more than once to understand. This book might not be a good read for someone who is new to Christianity. It might go over their heads too.

I recieved this book for free from Bethany House publishers in exchange for my review. I was not paid to give my review and all thoughts expressed are my own.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Lazarus Awakening" by Joanna Weaver

I didn't know what to expect when I requested this book. This book turned out to be such a blessing in my life at just the right time.

From the back of the book, "You believe that God love the world but sometimes you wonder if he truly loves you". I don't know anyone that hasn't wondered that at one time or another.

I've been at a loss on how to describe this book. So I guess I'll just start at the beginning. This book is about God's heart. It tells the story of Lazarus who Jesus loved and called back from death. In the book Joanna writes that we are all like Lazarus. Stuck in the grave, thinking we are safe there. But, Jesus wants to free us and have us live!

There is also a Bible study included with this book and I know that I gleaned more from the Bible study at the end of the book than I have in countless other books I have read. It's in depth, makes you think, and is scripture based.

I highly recommend this book. I feel like it's been such a blessing for me.

I got this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing through their Blogging for Books program. I received the book for free and was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts in the review are my own.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

"Regret Free Parenting" by Catherine Hickem

What a blessing this book is. No condemnation, no judging, just straightforward, godly advice.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book when I requested it. I figured it could just be the same old stuff that is written in a million other self-help parenting books, or it could be a different kind of book that actually had relevent stuff to say.

I'm happy to say that for me, this book was the latter. Catherine really knows her stuff and laid it out in such a way that was easy to follow along with. We all want to be better parents to our children but I know that for me and some of my friends, it's not that easy to change when you dont' know HOW to change or what is the best course of action to take.

The basic concept that runs through the whole book is how to be an intentional mother rather than a passive one. Knowing your children, knowing yourself, and knowing that you dont' have to parent alone. God is always there with you.

At the end of every chapter in the book there are Faith Points, which are scripture verses that go along with the main points in the chapter. There are also questions to answer. I highly recommend that if you read this book you take the time to answer the questions too. The are very insightful and relevant.

There is also a Regret-Free Parenting Plan at the end of the book. It's a four week plan that you can use to change one aspect of your parenting. I haven't done that yet but it's nice that it breaks thing down for you and makes it easier to change something that might be really impeading a fuller relationship with your children.

At the very end of the book there are lists of websites, books, and movies that the author feels go along with the priciples of her book. I thought this was very helpful and will be checking out these additional resources.

Bottom line is that I highly recommend this book. In fact I was recommending it before I finished reading it. My best friend is going to borrow this book now that I've finished my review.

I got this book from Thomas Nelson publishers through their booksneeze.com program. I got this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not paid to give a positive review and all thoughts contained in the review are my own.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Grey Matter" by David Levy

This book is Dr. David Levy's story about how he began to pray with each of his patients before surgery. This was really an amazing book. It's such a simple story and such a simple thing to do but it was so powerful in his life and in the lives of some of his patients.

I really liked how Dr. Levy explained his reservations and fear when he began this journey. It made it more real to me. Just because God is leading you to do something doesn't mean that it's always easy to get past the fear and start.

I am glad the he included his successes and failures in this book. Both in surgery and in praying for his patients. God never promised us that our journey would be smooth and that everything he requires of us would be easy or easy to understand. This put a human face on the doctor and his patients for me.

I really recommend this book. Especially if there is something in your life that you feel God is calling you to do and you are to afraid to do. This is someone who has been there and faced his fear in such an inspiring way.

I recieved this book from Tyndale Publishers through their blog review program. I recieved this book for free and was not required to give a positive reviews. All thoughts are my own.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Same Life New Story" by Jan Silvious

I really enjoyed this book. "Same Life New Story" is a ten week Bible study designed to help you change the way you think about your life and how to write a new story that glorifies God and gets you out of the rut that you are in.

There are ten different women of the Bible that this book focuses on; Naomi, Leah, Rahab, Deborah, Hannah, Anna, Jehosheba, Abigail, Naaman's servant girl, and Elizabeth. Each chapter is broken up into a few parts. The chapter starts out with telling part of the story in the Bible about these women. Then there are stories from the authors life and the lives of people she knows that go along with the story of the Bible women. Then the Bible story is finished up.

Next come the study questions. There are personal questions, a journal entry with a sentence that you have to finish, and group questions. The questions are hard hitting, in depth, and really make you think about why you do the things you do.

I did this study by myself over the course of two weeks. So this study can by done alone but the group questions would be better done in a group of women. That way you can get insights from other people.

I highly recommend this book. I think it's wonderful and really does what it sets out to do. Change the way you think your life is and what you think it has to be.

I got this book from Thomas Nelson publishers through their booksneeze.com program. I recieved my copy for free and was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Monday, February 7, 2011

"Lioness Arising" by Lisa Bevere

When I saw this book and requested it I was very excited. I thought that this was going to be a book to change my thinking and open me up to living God's word in my life.

This WAS a good book but I was strangely disappointed by this book. The whole book I had a vague feeling of unease while I was reading and it took some thinking for me to understand why.

First off, I don't know if Lisa was paraphrasing the scripture she used or was using a translation that I am not familiar with but I almost cringed every time I had to read the scripture she used.

Second, this book had a very feminist feel to it. What I got out of it was that women needed to rise up against not only the injustice of the world but also against men because they are the ones that opress women.

Also, I don't agree with Lisa when she says that women can have authority above men. As far as I know, the Bible is very clear on the roles of men and women in the church.

Like I said, I wanted to like this book but the overall tone of it for me was off. I don't recommend it.

I recieved this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing through their Blogging for Books program. I recieved this book for free and was not required to give a positive review or paid for my review.

Busy little bee!

I wish I had more time to write in my blog. I feel like I run all day and when I get a moment to rest I just lose myself in meaningless games on Facebook. I decided that it's time to change things around here. I deactivated my Facebook for the time being. I'm working really hard to catch up on all my reading, and I'm doing a decluttering 'challenge'.

This is what I am doing:
First, grab a garbage bag, laundry basket, or—if it’s really bad—an army tank, and set a timer for 10 minutes. Gather at least 15 – 20 items to give away. As you meander through the rooms of your house, ask yourself these questions:
1. Do I use this?
2. Do I have a place for this?
3. Is this item useful?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no” (that’s right—any—not all of these questions), then get rid of it. You’re simplifying your life so you can breathe easier and so God’s Word can have its full effect in your life, remember?
Once the timer goes off, take the contents from your bag, laundry basket, or army tank out to your car and drop your donations off at The Goodwill. That’s just one option, of course—you can “gift” your stuff to a friend. You know what they say . . . “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”

I got this here I thought it was a really good thing to do. I feel like most days that I'm drowning in our stuff! Every drawer is full, the closets are a disaster, and toys seems to be mulitplying, or reproducing, or cloning themselves (or whatever it is that toys do) at a fantastic rate.

Plus other things here and there like the blankets I'm making for friends and family that are pregnant, trying to do the Love Dare with my husband and a million other things that I have on my plate right now.

I seem to have gotten in over my head right now so my little blog has suffered. SO for my followers, or anyone that comes across this, I haven't abandoned my blog. I'm just taking some time to unbury myself for the time being. The only posts I'll have for right now are my book reviews but I'll be back :)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Weigh in day!

So today is my third weigh in day since I started Weight Watchers. I'm at 181.6. I've lost 5 pounds exactly since I started!

I'm so excited! I've been making excuses for so long and my weight just kept going up and up and up. When I had my youngest son in September of 2009 I weighed 146 after birth. When 2010 started I was up to almost 160 and then last year I just gained and gained. At the begining of this year when I started Weight Watchers I was up to 186.6.

I'm tired of being overweight. I'm tired of making excuses. I'm tired of buying bigger pants sizes only to have to buy them bigger in a few months because they don't fit. I'm a size 14 right now and they are just barely starting to get loose.

This is the year of changes for me. My life is pretty settled. Not a lot of drama so far so I think I can do it this year. My goal for this year is to get back down to 150 by New Years Eve. Then next year I want to get to my goal weight. But if it happens sooner I'm not going to complain lol. My goal weight is 135.

I'm trying to get my husband on board too. Not because he needs to lose weight (he's in his weight range right now) but because I'm worried about the way he eats. He grabs fast food at work because he doesn't have a lot of time and I'm afraid that it's going to catch up with him soon. I don't want him to have health problems because of this.

We also need to set better examples for our children. It's time to get healthy, get motivated, and become better parents this year!

Friday, January 28, 2011

My silly boys :)

My older son Daemon has been getting into the habit of turning on the charm when I tell him to do something he doesn't want to do. If I tell him to go clean his room I must get 50 hugs an hour until it's clean. I know it's just to get out of cleaning for a moment but how can I turn down hugs from my big guy? I know that's all it is because the second he's done cleaning and back to playing he doesn't know I exist lol. Sometimes a mom had got to get her cuddles no matter where she finds them :)

My little guy Tristan is slowing catching up on the walking. We've been working with him as much as he can stand. He's 15, almost 16 months and wasn't walking. But now he can walk, turn, and get himself into a standing position. He seems to still prefer crawling because he can go much faster but he's coming along. He's also learning words! He can point to his eye (more like his temple but who cares!) and say eye! Also can point to his ear and say ear! It's really exciting to see him get these concepts down. He's been goofy, and silly, and giggly these last few days and it's fun to see.

My boys really know how to warm my heart lately. They've been playing so nice together. I'm loving it while it lasts :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Where do you want to lead me Lord?

I know that God is leading me places lately. But, as usual, I tend to overthink things. Once I have a clear path in front of me I muck it all up and then don't know where to turn. I get to the point where I'm not sure if the idea comes from God or just from me.

There's one issue that won't leave my heart and that's head covering. I really feel that God wants me to cover my head. But I'm resisting so much. I have low self-esteem and I've always been sensitive to the comments of other people. It's something I'm working on but the issue of covering my head brings me some anxiety. It's because around my area the only women that cover their heads are women that are battling cancer. I'm going to bring this more to prayer it's just something I wanted to talk about a little bit.

On another note, I hurt my knee somehow. It turned out to be a big blessing for me. I've had time to finish the baby blanket I was making for my nephew. I also have a whole day today to play with my children, get caught up on all my reading and just rest. I don't really ever take time to rest because I'm too worried about the house. But since I really hurt whenever I walk it's a good time to take some time for me. Everyone needs a day to recharge every now and then :)

Oh, and a big thank you to everyone who reads my blog and to my follower! You have no idea how excited I was today to log on and see I had comments and a follower :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Unplanned" by Abby Johnson

This book is about Abby Johnson who was a director of a Planned Parenthood in Texas until she witnessed an ultrasound guided abortion and became pro-life.

There was both good and bad in this book for me. First off, without getting into too much of a discussion about abortion, I've been 'on the fence' about abortion for awhile now. When I started reading this book and read Abby's description of the abortion I felt sick to my stomach. It made me search myself and I 'fell of the fence' to the pro-life side.

I'm honestly very glad that Abby's story was in the media and she wrote this book. I think it's a story that needs to be told. In a country that tries to justify abortion by calling the babies that are killed, 'embryos' and 'clumps of cells' I'm glad that there are people out there who are affected by this and call it what it is, a baby's life ending.

Now, there were certain points in the book that I felt were too melodramatic. I realize that drama sells and maybe it's because I have never been on the front lines of the abortion fight, but the way Abby describes her first meeting with the Colilition for Life and those first few days with them seems overly dramatic to me. It took away from the story for me and seemed to drag a little bit.

Overall, this is an excellent book on a difficult topic that really needed to be told. Not all pro-lifers are the one's that scream out obscenities at the abortion clinics.

I recieved this book for free from the Tyndale Blog Network. I was not paid to give this review and all the opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Unto the Hills" by Billy Graham

Since this is a daily devotional I didn't read the whole thing before my review. I've done the January devotionals up to this point and I have skimmed through the rest of the book.

I found this devotional to be uplifting. In each daily section there is a scripture verse, a passage from Billy and a prayer at the end. All the aspects of the devotional tie into the scripture verse that is presented that day.

I really trust the writings of Billy Graham. He knows what he is talking about and doesn't try to sugar coat anything. This is no exception. There are a myriad of topics that are covered in this book. Everything from God's grace and mercy to fruits of the spirit to suffering of God's people.

I highly recommend this book. I think that because the devotionals are long enough to get the message across but short enough to read in a few minutes that this can really help a Christian (especially a new one) to delve into God's word everyday.

I recieved this book from Thomas Nelson publishers through their Booksneeze program. I was not paid to give a positive review and all thoughts are my own.